Medical Acupuncture

Brisbane Acupuncture Clinic

Dr Anita Chang


Dr Chang graduated from University of Queensland Medical School in 1993 and completed her Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practice in 1995. During her many years of general practice work, Anita became aware that there was a need for safe complementary approaches for many conditions where western medical management is no longer able to assist patients beyond a certain level. She commenced her medical acupuncture training in 2006 and was awarded Fellowship of the Australian Medical Acupuncture College in 2010. Since then she has further studied under many acclaimed international teachers of various styles including Classical Chinese Medicine, Chinese Scalp Acupuncture, Yamamoto New Scalp Acupuncture and Ear Acupuncture, mastering these skills in the field. She now exclusively practices medical acupuncture for her patients.

Modalities used include – normal filiform needles, fine superficial needles, electro-acupuncture, ear acupuncture, laser acupuncture, moxibustion, infra-red lamp and cupping.

With many years of clinical experience in medical acupuncture she can individualise treatments for patients with various painful and non-painful conditions.

Dr Chang has an active role in teaching medical acupuncture and is involved in the Australian Medical Acupuncture College Course for Doctors as a teacher, mentor and examiner. 


What is Medical Acupuncture?

Acupuncture applied by a fully qualified western medical doctor who has also been properly trained using acupuncture treatment as a modality


Is Medical Acupuncture for me?

Medical Acupuncture is helpful to relieve discomfort associated with a variety of diseases and conditions:

-musculoskeletal pain – neck, shoulders, back, hips, hands, feet



-emotional/ psychological conditions – anxiety, depression


-allergies eg sinusitis

-chemotherapy related and peri-operative nausea and vomiting

-menstrual cramps

-dental and jaw pain

-post herpetic-neuralgia

-chronic fatigue

-digestive conditions

The above list outlines the more common conditions usually responding well to acupuncture, but there may be more that medical acupuncture can be of assistance. It is certainly worth a try if you still have symptoms after you have exhausted conventional management methods.

During your first consultation with Dr Chang, she will take a thorough history, examination and review all the investigations you have had so far. She will then perform an examination from the perspective of medical acupuncture, discuss your condition and then formulate a treatment plan for you. Treatment may be commenced on this consultation or at a subsequent appointment.


New Patient

No referral is required.

Please bring along any relevant blood test results or investigations and a list of your usual daily medications (This will not be necessary if you are already a patient of Carina Medical Centre)

The initial consultation will be a longer consultation, usually taking approximately 40 minutes. Subsequent acupuncture booking will be the duration of a standard consultation. Please allow adequate time for needles to stay in for 15-20 minutes.

All medical acupuncture consultations attract Medicare rebates similar to a GP consultation. HICAP/private insurance does not apply to medical acupuncture treatments.


How should I prepare for acupuncture treatments?

Wear loose comfortable clothing – bring an extra blanket for covering if desired.

You do not need to stop any of your medications when you have acupuncture treatments.

Before your acupuncture treatment please avoid the following:

-prolonged long hot bath/ shower just before your appointment

-having a large meal or being hungry 

-excessive caffeinated beverages

-alcohol consumption


At what age can one receive acupuncture treatments?

Acupuncture is suitable for all ages.

Laser acupuncture can be used in infants and young children.


What if I do not like needles?

For infants, children or those who do not wish to be needled, laser acupuncture (no sharp points and painless) will be used instead of needles.


Are there any contraindications to medical acupuncture?

Acupuncture should not be used to replace medical management in acute medical emergency situations such as chest pain (heart attack), asthma attack, unexplained abdominal pain (appendicitis).


How safe is acupuncture?

It is a very safe modality in the hands of a medical acupuncturist – in particular only using single use high quality stainless steel needles.

Common side effects include mild bruising, slight ache in the area of needling.

Not everyone is a good candidate for acupuncture – feel free to discuss your concerns with the medical acupuncturist.


What will I feel during and after acupuncture?

The acupuncture needles used are very fine and thin, so most patients do not feel them.

Sometimes people may experience a slight ‘heaviness or achiness’ at the site of needle insertion – this is called ‘de qi’ that is suggestive of the correct location in the muscle. The needles usually stay on for 15-20 minutes depending on the treatment.


After the treatment, some people may feel more relaxed, whilst others feel more energised. Some may only notice the improved effects after a few treatments depending on the condition. A small percentage of patients may feel the pain becoming slightly aggravated before it starts to improve. This is usually due to the local effects of acupuncture promoting a healing response. This sort of response will subside after a couple of treatments. 


How often do I need to be treated?

Most people start to feel better after 2 or 3 treatments, however sometimes may need 6-8 treatments to experience the full effects of the acupuncture depending on the chronicity of the condition.

In acute conditions, twice weekly treatments are recommended, whilst in more long term conditions, once a week treatments will be a good start.

Clinical Team

Book Online

If you’ve been needing an acupuncture appointment for a while, now is the time to book. You can book online by clicking here, or call us on 07 3398 8188